Thursday, January 19, 2006
I replied to the email that I got from Google the other day and received this in (automated) reply:
Hello, As you know, Google treats instances of invalid clicks very seriously. By disabling your account, we feel that we have taken the necessary measures to ensure that invalid clicks will not continue to occur on your site. Due to the proprietary nature of our monitoring system, we're not able to disclose any specific details of these clicks. Publishers disabled for invalid click activity are not allowed further participation in Google AdSense. However, if you can maintain in good faith that the invalid clicks we detected on your ads were not due to your actions or negligence, or the actions or negligence of others working for you, you may appeal the closing of your account. Google reserves sole discretion in considering whether to take any action on an appeal. In order to appeal the disabling of your account, please email us at email@example.com with the details requested below. Please compose a new email and do not reply to this message. We're unable to consider appeals that do not contain all of this information: - Your name - Your company's name (if applicable) - Your publisher ID number (located in the AdSense code on your website with the format, pub-################) - Your website's URL - Date your account was disabled - Your website's audience - The source of your website's content - Frequency of content updates - The primary sources of your website's traffic - The number of people involved with the administration of the site - Any relevant information that you believe would explain the invalid click activity we detected If Google decides to evaluate your appeal, we will do our best to inform you quickly and will proceed with appropriate action as necessary. If we have reached a decision on your appeal, subsequent or duplicate appeals may not be considered.
I'll be sending off an appeal and let you know what I find out when I hear more.
Update: It turns out that I had enough information to do this now (I didn't think I had my publisher ID number), so I banged out a quick note. Here's what I just sent to Google:
Hello, I was recently informed of my termination in the Adsense program. I would like to appeal that ruling. In an (I think automated) email sent from Google, it said to contact you at this address and provide the following information.
- Your name: Dave Roberts
- Your company's name (if applicable): NA
- Your publisher ID number (located in the AdSense code on your website with the format, pub-################): pub-***********
- Your website's URL: http://www.findinglisp.com/blog/
- Date your account was disabled: I received the initial note from Google on Jan 16. I assume this was the date it was disabled.
- Your website's audience: Lisp programmers, of which there are actually a reasonable number at Google itself.
- The source of your website's content: Me, I guess. The site is full of Lisp-related information for programmers. I have written all the content other than blog comments and quotes. Probably the main attraction for the site is a blog I write (using Blogger, in fact) titled Finding Lisp. Interestingly, Blogger just highlighted it last month as a "Blogs of Note" on the main Blogger page.
- Frequency of content updates: Every few days, depending on my schedule. Typically at least once a month.
- The primary sources of your website's traffic: Good question. Most seems to come through RSS readers grabbing my Atom feed. The actual browsers of the site often come through http://planet.lisp.org, which is a Lisp blog aggregator. The high runners beyond that are from Google searches by people wanting more information on Lisp.
- The number of people involved with the administration of the site: just 1, myself.
- Any relevant information that you believe would explain the invalid click activity we detected: I don't know what the invalid activity was, so I find it difficult to respond to this. That said, I do admit to clicking on at least a few links myself. I would bet that the first click ever was probably myself testing whether I had gotten the HTML code from Google pasted into my sight correctly. Beyond that, I probably had < 10 clicks on adverts that caught my eye. In those cases, I was actually interested in the advert itself and was certainly not clicking with the intent to defraud Google or the advertiser. I blogged about one such encounter here: http://www.findinglisp.com/blog/2005/11/das-keyboard-are-you-man-enough.html.
If Google has detected fraud beyond this, I don't have a clue as to what it could be. I'm certainly not operating a click-fraud scheme or trying to juice-up my revenues with bogus clicks.
In conclusion, if Google detected me clicking on a few ads, then I'm probably guilty of violating the *letter* of the Adsense Terms and Conditions. I'm certainly not guilt of violating the *spirit* of those T's and C's, however, and would ask that you weigh this when making your decision. If it helps, this experience has certainly heightened my sensitivity toward clicking on my own adverts and you hereby have my promise to never do so again.
Thanks for your time and consideration,
Author of Finding Lisp
I guess now I wait for word from on high...
That's ridiculous. If they disable your account because of couple of clicks you did yourself, then let it be. I wouldn't make business with such people and certainly wouldn't beg that they reactivate my account.
I have to agree with anon, there. Seems like every week someone I read mentions that they've been suddenly dropped from Google for no apparent reason. Clearly, they have some automated screening going on, and just as clearly, it doesn't work properly.
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